Not only do our canine friends love us unconditionally, but their affectionate and playful nature can always be counted on to make us smile. To top it off, dogs are downright adorable. From the big dogs with wrinkles and jowls to the tiny ones with perky expressions, there's a look for everyone to love. Here are 10 of the cutest dog breeds that brighten our lives.
01 of 10
According to Welsh legend, fairies loved Pembroke Welsh corgis. Stories of corgis pulling fairy coaches, herding fairy cattle, and carrying fairy warriors abound in Wales. What we know for sure is corgis tend to be playful, intelligent, and affectionate dogs. Be prepared to give them lots of exercise and attention.
Height: 10 to 12 inches
Weight: Up to 30 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Low-set and long; colors include black and tan, fawn, red, and sable with white markings
02 of 10
It's common knowledge that beagles are excellent hunting dogs, but did you know their ears can improve the performance of their noses? Beagles' long ears push particles toward their noses, so they can better process scent information. These dogs need an active household and are often great for families with children.
Height: Up to 15 inches
Weight: Up to 30 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Solid build; colors include black and tan, brown and white, and more
03 of 10
While today's Pomeranians can have a somewhat prissy reputation, they were originally herding dogs that pulled massive sleds over rough terrain. Back then, Pomeranians weighed about 30 pounds and were packed with muscle. Modern Poms can be very affectionate but need consistent training to keep their stubborn nature in check.
Height: 6 to 7 inches
Weight: 3 to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Compact, short-backed body; fluffy double coat; colors include black, chocolate, orange, red, and more
04 of 10
French bulldogs were bred to be little climate controllers for artisans working in chilly shops. The Frenchies would sit in their laps, keeping them cozy. And these dogs still love laps just as much today. They are very affectionate and loyal dogs that often get along well with children and other animals.
Height: 11 to 13 inches
Weight: Under 28 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Heavy-boned; smooth coat; colors include fawn, brindle, and moreContinue to 5 of 10 below.
05 of 10
These days, Yorkshire terriers have a lap dog reputation. But back in their early days, these petite pups worked hard to keep workspaces pest-free. Their small stature enabled them to squeeze into tight spaces to chase after rodents, and their big-dog attitudes made them fearless when it came to the hunt.
Height: 7 to 8 inches
Weight: 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Compact body; silky coat; colors include black and tan, blue and tan, and more
06 of 10
Despite their name, Old English sheepdogs are only a few hundred years old. They were developed to drive livestock, among other farm work. Nowadays, they're primarily adorable pets who are alert, intelligent, and very playful. To keep them looking their best, they typically need a daily brushing and regular bathing.
Height: 21 inches and up
Weight: 60 to 100 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Square body; shaggy coat; colors include blue and white, gray and white, and more
07 of 10
You can't get much cuter than a pit bull puppy. "Pit bull" isn't a breed but rather a category for several breeds, including American Staffordshire terriers. These dogs tend to be affectionate, friendly, and playful. But they do need vigorous daily walks and play sessions to channel their high energy.
Height: 17 to 19 inches
Weight: 40 to 70 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Muscular body; short coat; colors include black, blue, fawn, and more
08 of 10
From their sweet personalities to their happy smiles, there's a lot to love about Labrador retrievers. Labs have been the No. 1 dog in the U.S. for more than two decades, according to American Kennel Club rankings—and for good reason. These dogs are good-natured, sociable, and highly trainable. But they do prefer an active household.
Height: 22 to 25 inches
Weight: 55 to 80 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Athletic build; short, dense coat; colors include black, chocolate, and yellowContinue to 9 of 10 below.
09 of 10
Boston terriers tend to be fun-loving, affectionate dogs that are full of enthusiasm for life. They've been nicknamed the "American gentleman" due to their tuxedo-like markings, which help make them even more lovable. These dogs can be great family pets and tend to respond well to training. They prefer a household in which they can have company for most of the day.
Height: 15 to 17 inches
Weight: 12 to 25 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Short face; smooth coat; colors include black and white, brindle and white, seal and white, and more
10 of 10
The Maltese is one of the world's oldest dog breeds, having been depicted in artwork and literature from many ancient civilizations, including the Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. Today's Maltese is an adorable, affectionate, and friendly companion that loves to hang out in its favorite person's lap. Daily walks and playtime should satisfy this breed's exercise needs.
Height: 7 to 9 inches
Weight: Up to 7 pounds
Physical Characteristics: Big, dark, alert eyes; long, silky, single-layer, white coat